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Requirements for agents and landlords

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Redress schemes

Letting and property management agents must be a member of a redress scheme. This means if something goes wrong you can make your complaint through the redress scheme. There are currently 2 approved redress schemes: 

Agents must clearly state the name of the redress scheme they belong to.

If an agent is not a member of a redress scheme, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline to report them to Trading Standards.

Client money protection

Letting agents must be a member of a Client Money Protection Scheme and display who they have client money protection with.

If an agent is not a member of a  Client Money Protection Scheme, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline to report them to Trading Standards.

Letting agents fees and charges

From 1 June 2019 tenant fees are banned for all new tenancy agreements.

From 31 May 2020 this will apply to ALL tenancy agreements, including those in force before 1 June 2019.

The only payments letting agents can charge in addition to the rent, utilities, council tax, communication services and TV licence are:

a) a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where the annual
rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above

b) a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week’s rent

c) payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs
d) payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant

e) A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device, where required under a tenancy agreement

If a letting agent is charging fees when they shouldn't, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline to report them to Trading Standards.


If you pay a deposit to a letting agent or landlord they must protect it with one of the Government approved deposit protection schemes:

All deposits paid must be protected within 30 days and information will be sent directly to you from the relevant scheme. If your deposit is not protected then you could be entitled to claim up to 3 times the amount back at the end of the tenancy. You also cannot legally be evicted from the property unless an unprotected deposit is returned.

The agency can only put a ‘holding deposit’ towards the first month’s rent, or the security deposit. They have to take any fees separately and are not allowed to deduct them from the holding deposit.


Electrical Safety

From 1 April 2021 landlords must have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested, at least every five years, by a qualified person. The landlord must get a report from the person carrying out the inspection. This is under the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.

A copy of the report must be given to a new tenant of a property before they move in to the premises. It must be given to an existing tenant of a property within 28 days of the landlord getting it.

The local authority is able to request a copy of a report at any time. If requested, it must be supplied within 7 days. Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is needed, this work should be completed within 28 days of the report (or sooner if the report specifies this).

Where remedial work has been carried out, written confirmation of the works must be supplied to the tenant and to the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works. This must state that the electrical safety standards are met, or that further investigative or remedial work is required.

To submit confirmation of works to the London Borough of Camden, please send it to [email protected]

There are exemptions from these regulations for, amongst others, social housing, lodgers, student halls of residence, refuges, care homes, hospices and other accommodation relating to healthcare provision.

The Government has issued guidance for landlords and tenants on the new electrical safety regulations.

Please note that when applying for an HMO licence, a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) will also be required. Failure to provide an EICR could result in a 1 year licence being issued.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 requires most private sector landlords to:

  • install a smoke alarm on every floor of their property
  • install a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms of their properties that use or burn solid fuels
  • check that alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations booklet

Minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES)

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 make it unlawful to rent out a domestic property if it has an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of F or G (unless a valid exemption has been registered on the PRS Exemptions register).

The regulations cover all relevant properties, even where there has been no change of tenancy. The local authority has a duty to enforce the regulations.

On this page:

    Why were the regulations introduced?
    What’s an EPC?
    What do I need to do?
    How do I register an exemption?
    What happens if I breach the regulations?
    Where can I find help with improvements?

Why were the regulations introduced?

The regulations were introduced to improve the energy efficiency of housing in the private rented sector and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.

They should help make tenants’ homes more thermally efficient, particularly for people who are vulnerable or on a low income, so they can live more comfortably, in a healthier environment with lower energy bills.

What’s an EPC?

An energy performance certificate (EPC) gives the property an energy efficiency rating – A rated properties are the most energy efficient and G rated are the least efficient. It’s valid for 10 years and must be provided by the owner of a property, when it is rented or sold.

If you are a landlord and you fail to provide an EPC at the start of a tenancy, you will be in breach of the regulations – and, as well as being subject to a penalty charge, you’ll be unable to serve a valid Section 21 notice on a tenant.

An EPC contains information about the type of heating system and typical energy costs. It also gives recommendations about how the energy use could be reduced, lowering running costs:

    government guidance on EPCs

    find your home’s EPC and efficiency rating

What do I need to do?

If you’re a private landlord, you must either:

•    ensure your rented properties have an EPC with a minimum ‘E’ rating
•    register a valid PRS exemption on the PRS exemptions register

Failure to do either of these is a breach of the regulations.

How do I register an exemption?

    how to register and exemption criteria

What happens if I breach the regulations?

The Council investigates any potential breaches of the regulations. If you breach them, you may be subject to a penalty notice imposing a financial and/or publication penalty.

The potential breaches and minimum penalties are:

•    letting a property with an F or G rating for less than 3 months: £2,000
•    letting a property with an F or G rating for more than 3 months: £4,000
•    registering false or misleading information on the PRS exemptions register: £1,000
•    failing to provide information to the Council demanded by a compliance notice: £2,000

You could be fined up to £5,000. A publication penalty relates to the publication of certain information contained in a Penalty Notice on the PRS Exemptions Register.

Where can I find help with improvements?

You can find the recommended energy efficiency improvements on the current EPC. You must either self fund improvements or use third party funding where available – but you’re not expected to spend more than £3,500 (including VAT) to comply with the regulations.

    simple energy advice (Independent and endorsed by the government)

You may also be eligible for help with funding through our Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Support Grant

You may require consent for improvement works if your property is listed or within a conservation area. Contact [email protected] for further advice.